United by the idea of building an ecosystem of founders in the region and to help scaling businesses, Peng, So-Young and Roger started Founders Coaching Pause (FCP) in 2015. Seeing how most founders have no training to run organisations, the program was built to provide them with the necessary frameworks and tools to run their scaling businesses. To remedy the lack of support for entrepreneurs in the region, FCP aimed to help founders build a network where they could foster meaningful relationships with one another across the region.
Tomas Laboutka, who attended the first batch of FCP, realised that the rigorous discussions between founders would slow down to an eventual halt after the end of the program. He saw a real need for founders to build meaningful relationships and to accelerate their learning along the entrepreneurial journey. Tomas kick-started SEA Founders in Oct 2017 and launched in four markets — Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Bangkok.
Nov 2017 saw the first Masterclass as a huge success. A year later, after identifying synergies between FCP and SEA Founders, both programs merged and was housed under SEA Founders. Mid 2018, SEA Founders merged with Found8, under which leadership, the moderator training and a refinement on how forums were ran, were introduced. The operational team of SEA Founders today is a spin off from the Found8 team. As of end 2019, SEA Founders runs as an independent, not-for-profit organisation carrying the vision into its third year: To support fellow post-series-A founders to grow and scale in Southeast Asia, faster.
Peng T. Ong was the co-founder and CTO of Match.com (acquired by IAC). After Match.com, he was the founder and CEO of Interwoven, which went public on NASDAQ. He is currently the managing partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures.
Tomas Laboutka is a serial entrepreneur and leader who is passionate about innovating and shaking up industries. Over the course of the past decade, he has built and scaled four ventures, including Hotel Quickly.